This blog post comes courtesy of Madelyn Fox. We hope her words bring encouragement and perspective to the long haul of discipleship-whether with our own children or those in our community.
Discipleship is hard.
I look down at the dark brown eyes of the newborn.
A soul resides within her tiny frame—a soul destined for Hell unless the Spirit moves.
She squirms in my arms as a short whimper exits her small mouth. Soon the bellows come as she demands milk.
I hand her back to the mother—she’s not mine but a responsibility to shepherd her is inexcusable.
I choose no other road than the one set before me—discipleship.
This young baby will grow to be a child. A two-year-old who will whine and complain and scream and demand for her way. The world will be to her as one that revolves around her every wish.
Just as her siblings before her, she’ll be pampered and get what she wants…it’s easier that way.
And I will take that young girl and point her to Christ—for my job started when her existence was announced, even while still in the womb.
A job that consists of kneeling before God and asking Him to save her from the eternal death awaiting all apart from Christ.
As she grows older my job will become harder.
For I won’t find myself comfortably in my home praying for this child, but I will be found changing her diapers and reading Scripture to her and disciplining bad behavior.
The years will flow ahead of us and my job transitions from hard to inconvenient to heartbreaking.
For the enemy will not let go of her without a fight.
And on the day when she repents and turns to Christ for salvation, the real work has only just begun.
Now the days of seeking quiet and solitude are disrupted when she calls me in tears, asking what the Lord would do when her parents ask her to sin.
The days of relaxing with a book are interrupted by a knock on the door as she needs a safe place to play and color.
Or the times when I notice a sin in her life that needs changed.
Or when she chooses her cultural roots over obedience to the Word—and saying the tough truth causes tension with her family.
Or when my daily walk with the dog has her tagging along—solitude replaced by pointing her to Christ in the lovingkindness He shows in the sky or the grace He displays in allowing us legs to walk.
My mind is not at rest—for I get her only just a little bit on earth and there’s more of Christ that takes a lifetime to teach.
And while discipleship is a simple word to describe the path I will take to show this baby that Christ is worthy, the actual living discipleship takes my whole being…and then some.
And when the days my whole being is spent, I take comfort that the ‘then some’ is provided by God’s Spirit.
For the heavy duty of discipleship is worth every cost.
She’s done eating and back in my arms. I cuddle her as I cry out to God to be faithful in discipling this young child.
A hard road is ahead, but the outcome is worth the sacrifice—for the outcome is Christ Himself.
And any sacrifice is not a sacrifice when done for His Name and Renown.
3 John 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”